It has been nearly five decades since Shirley MacLaine commenced her brave and public commitment to chronicling her personal quest for spiritual understanding. Now Shirley is back - with her most breathtakingly powerful and unique book yet.
The Camino is the story of a riveting odyssey that began with a pair of anonymous handwritten letters imploring Shirley to make a difficult pilgrimage along the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain. Throughout history, countless pilgrims have taken up the trail. It is an ancient - and allegedly enchanted - pilgrimage. People from St. Francis of Assisi to Dante and Chaucer have taken the journey - a nearly 500-mile trek across highways, mountains, cities and fields.
For Shirley, the Camino was both an intense spiritual and physical challenge. For a woman in her sixth decade, completing such a grueling trip on foot in 30 days at 20 miles per day was remarkable. But even more astounding was her spiritual route: back thousands of years, through past lives to the very origin of the universe.
With rich insight, humility, and grace, The Camino promises listeners the journey of a thousand lifetimes.
©2000 Shirley MacLaine (P)2000 Simon & Schuster
I read this book because I've had an interest in the Camino for some time - not enough to do it myself, but....
I did go to Santiago de Compostela a few years ago and visited the Cathedral and the town, but I did it the easy way on a day trip from a cruise.
I've known of MacLaine's interest in things spiritual and esoteric for some time and have read some of her previous books. This one doesn't disappoint, although she does get "way out there" in parts of it. She deviates from the story of walking the Camino in recounting the events of a past life in Lemuria. I reamain a skeptic on this aspect of the narrative, but she writes and speaks about it with conviction. Who knows - maybe she's right. I especially enjoyed hearing this book in her voice.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At one point, I had to force myself to go forward when Shirley gave warning that what she was going to say next might be strange to most people. But, when I listened closely, I had a basic understanding of her thought process and how "it could happen". She talks openly and intelligently on what she believes happened to her and you can see how the dynamics of her thinking relates somewhat to the biblical learnings some of us grew up with and might explain some of lifes mysteries. These mysteries are avoided by some, questioned by others and researched by a few. I give Shirley the thumbs up for being inquisitive enough, open enough, and forthright enough to go forward and seek her truth. Once again, we each have different truths. Her account of the Camino was great and an enjoyable read. I have thought about it for several days and that is an indication of a book that stays in your mind because it gave you food for thought. If you are interested in the Camino de Santiago and seeking a spiritual journey - this book would be a good one to get on audible. Once again, I found it enjoyable.
I bought this book to live vicariously through another's inspirational hike. It was unfortunate for Shirley that she was hounded by the press. Shirley's descriptions of her hallucinations were disturbing and not at all thought provoking. She didn't describe how the hike changed her personally. I would have left out full descriptions of her hallucinations and focused more on what she saw and felt along the trail, the poverty, the kindness, the landscape, her physical challenges, etc.
Shirley was walking along the trail and being an avid talker, it seems she couldn't handle the self-silence and started speaking to objects. She conversed with a stick and it agreed to be her walking companion, very funny.
Yes, find another book about hiking the Camino.
I love eccentric people, but Shirley's hallucinations were better left in the background, perhaps a couple of sentences describing how these were a result of a hard day's trek.
This book was not at all what I expected and was very disappointing. I was expecting a story about Shirley MacLaine's pilgrimage on the Camino. She should have titled it "My Past Life as a BrownSkinned Moorish Girl". I will never buy one of her books again.
I started out loving this book. I really believed it was about the Camino, but half the book is about the origin of the universe. It caught me totally off guard. I was not mentally prepared to hear about luminous people from other planets, people with both sexes, the loss planet of Atlantis and where Jesus went during his missing years. It contradicted a lot of spiritual info I thought I knew. It was not an issue of what is right or wrong but more of an issue of too much "way out" info at one time. I felt I needed a month to mentally absorb one chapter before moving to the next. It overwhelmed my mind.
I've never been one to follow some actor or actress, but after listening to this I would dearly love to speak with this wonderful woman about her experience and additional thoughts. this wad a treat!!!
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